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How “dense” is God in your teaching?

July 16, 2009

Saw something today in reading Acts 1-3 that my eye was not shown before.  And it’s given me pause to ask myself the question above.  But first, let’s make sure we are on the same page concerning density if I’m going to apply it to God.

The ever-handy dictionary.com cites various leading dictionaries and the one I’m using is the Random House Dictionary and here are several meanings its gives to density:

1. the state or quality of being dense; compactness; closely set or crowded condition.

2. stupidity; slow-wittedness; obtuseness.

3. the number of inhabitants, dwellings, or the like, per unit area: The commissioner noted that the population density of certain city blocks had fallen dramatically.
Obviously rule out #2 in relation to our God.  #1 is okay (“the state or quality of being dense, compactness).  But it is in the sense of #3 that I am speaking of density vis-avis God:  “the number of inhabitants, dwellings, or the like, per unit area” as in population density.  I read the statistics and can see where New Jersey is a very dense place to live–not as in the people are “dense” but there a ton of them living in a relatively small space.

Now back to Acts 2 & 3.  Peter takes the lead after Pentecost in proclaiming the good news of Christ crucified and risen.  To say he is a changed man is the classic understatement.  He is given two opportunities to speak before others and speak he does–of the God who is the center of the gospel, life, everything.

I can make that last statement with confidence based on a lot of other Scriptures, but notice this:  in the 24 verses recording his message in Acts 2:17-40, Peter makes reference to the triune God 23 times (NIV, not including pronoun references even).  Then in Acts 3:11-26, speaking after the healing of a cripple before a crowd running toward them (!), Peter references God 18 times in 16 verses.  Peter didn’t feel the need to tell entertaining stories, use enlightening illustrations, or the like.  His mind and mouth were fixed on the one thing:  the God of the Gsopel of Jesus Christ!

I’ve tried to make sure that my teaching/preaching has been like Peter’s at least since 1992, after having read John Piper’s The Supremacy of God in Preaching.  But I could have gotten this long before that if I’d just taken careful note of the Apostle Peter.

Be certain to make your teaching of the Word dense with God.

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